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Bankruptcy filing won't affect Lenox distribution center in Halfway: official

November 25, 2008

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- Lenox Group's decision to file for bankruptcy won't affect its distribution center in Halfway, a company official said Tuesday.

Lenox, which makes dinnerware, gifts and collectibles, said Monday it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the latest company to succumb to the weak retail environment.

It is seeking an $85 million debtor-in-possession financing facility from its revolving lender group to pay employees, make material purchases and pay normal operating expenses.

The Eden Prairie, Minn., company will continue to conduct "business as usual," Chief Executive Marc Pfefferle said in a statement.

Louis Fantin, the company's senior vice president and general counsel, said the company's main distribution center is in Washington County and it will continue to operate.

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The Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission's 2008 Business & Industry Directory lists 153 employees for the local distribution center, which Fantin said is still accurate.

Lenox was called Department 56 until 2005, when it changed its name after buying Lenox Inc., a fine-china maker, to offset declining demand for its collectibles. Debt stemming from the acquisition and the weakening financial markets led to the filing, Lenox Group said.

-- Staff and AP reports

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